1st Edition

Voluntary Organizations and Innovation in Public Services

By Stephen P. Osborne Copyright 1998

    The innovative capacity of voluntary organizations has become a touchstone for their role in providing public services. Across the world there are increasing pressures on voluntary organizations to improve the quality and effectiveness of public services through innovation and change. This volume uses original research to assess the innovative capacity of voluntary organizations. It provides:

    * a conceptual framework for understanding the innovative capacity of voluntary organizations
    * empirical evidence detailing the nature and extent of innovation
    * an analysis of successful innovators in personal social services
    * the applicability of the for-profit model of innovation to non-profit organizations
    * an account of the contingent nature of voluntary organizations' relationship to their external environment and particularly their main funders.

    The development of a theory of innovation in non-market and nonprofit conditions makes this volume an important addition to organizational studies literature.

    Chapter 1 Voluntary and non-profit organizations and innovation in public services; Chapter 2 Conceptualizing voluntary activity; Chapter 3 Innovations, innovators and innovating; Chapter 4 Research methodology; Chapter 5 Mapping and defining the innovative activity of VNPOs; Chapter 6 Four causal hypotheses and a process; Chapter 7 The innovative capacity of VNPOs;


    Osborne, Stephen P.

    'An important text, enabling an understanding of the role of innovations and the organisational factors which support its development,' Catherine Driscoll, Local Government Studies